The Tyranny of OH HELL IT BURNS: 4. DOGMA

Oh. This again.

Before we get started, I want to congratulate anybody who had two in the "how many pages until Jonah Goldberg mentions Nazis?" pool. Go you!

On a related note, the first two pages of this chapter were complete garbage. So were the ten that followed.

Here's the chapter in a nutshell:
1. Goldberg implies that dogma is a something that someone believes to be right. He never really bothers to actually define the word. I guess he figures that anyone smart enough to buy his book is also smart enough to know the all the cool alternative definitions that the kids are using these days.

2. Liberals have come out (FETCHING SWEATER) against dogma. Goldberg gives some examples of liberals condemning dogma. The implications are that only liberals condemn dogma, and that dogma means what Goldberg wants it to mean. Sure. Why not?

3. Therefore, liberals don't believe in anything.

That's a pretty damning argument right there. It's also identical to the one Goldberg made in chapter 1: IDEOLOGY. Great, Goldberg has figured out search-and-replace technology.

Goldberg doesn't stop here. Like all good writers, he goes in for the kill. (Okay, it's mostly just Goldberg and Hemingway that do this, because BALLS.)

Liberals don't believe in anything. They oppose people who believe in things. DID YOU KNOW THAT SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE IN PRETTY KICK ASS THINGS? For instance, take Mother Teresa. She was a saint. Well, not technically. (If you assume these things are technical. Which they are.)

This means that liberals disagree with Mother Teresa! (This is probably the most accurate assertion Goldberg's made in the entire book.) Also, liberals hate Martin Luther King (who Goldberg is all for, given that his friend Gonah Joldberg is totes not a racist), apple pie, hot dogs (gay joke), and baseball (more different gay joke). Furthermore, liberals believe in slavery, in that they don't believe in things, and some people believe in there not being slavery.

The War on Poverty was less successful at reducing the poverty rate than ignoring it was. In 1966 the poverty rate was roughly 19 percent. In 1974 after the anti-poverty programs were fully institutionalised, the poverty rate was 11.2 percent. Thirty years later, in 2004, when antipoverty spending was enormously greater [citation needed], the poverty rate was 12.7 percent.
See, it's all dogma. Especially the part where LBJ noted that the War on Poverty wasn't as successful as he'd have liked (something about bitches).

There's a bunch of crap in there about abortion (doctors believe in abortion, because they are dogmatic), and climate change (some scientists believe in it, but they're dogmatic assholes).

Way to come out against dogma and totally undermine your thesis, dude!

In closing, here's one of the suggested questions that the publisher suggested I ask Jonah Goldberg when he comes to read at my bookstore/blog/kitchen:
Some might argue that language is ever evolving. In your opinion, why does a phrase have to adhere to its original meaning or inspiration if people have come to know and accept it as something else?

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